Title: Kiwa Initiative Pacific Organic Learning...
Donor: funded by the European Union, France, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and is managed by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD)
Value: EUR 4.6 million
Target Countries: Tonga, Nauru, Solomon Islands, Fiji (with learning exchanges with New Caledonia, Wallis and Fatuna, French Polynesia)
Project Status: active
Projected Timeline: 30.06.2021 - 29.06.2025
Pacific Organic Learning Farms Network
The Kiwa Initiative is a multi-donor program that aims to build resilience to climate change through Nature-based Solutions. A network of Organic Learning Farms (OLFs) that become learning centres for best organic and agroecological production methods will be established and fertilized to foster sharing of knowledge, planting materials and successes. The OLFs will significantly expand the amount of land sustainably managed in the project and partner countries, helping to ensure nutritious and healthful food and agricultural products are regularly available and able to reach people during future shocks, including storms, public health emergencies such as COVID-19, and other disasters.
The Kiwa Initiative Pacific Learning Farms Network (POLFN) will run for five years from 2021-2025.
The project will be operational in Fiji, Nauru, Tonga and Solomon Islands, and with exchange and learning components with Wallis and Futuna, New Caledonia and French Polynesia in collaboration with the European Development Fund 11 PROTEGE project implemented by the Pacific Community. The Pacific Community (SPC) is implementing both the POLFN and PROTEGE projects.
Official Launch of the Kiwa Project
The project was officially launched at the Pacific Community Headquarters in Noumea, New Caledonia. Speaking at the event, the Director of the Land Resources Division, Karen Mapusua said that, “smallholder farmers are ideal partners for this ambitious initiative. Their intrinsic knowledge of agriculture, communities and markets is a result of their closeness to the land and local food culture. Many of these farmers are inspiring stewards of biodiversity and sustainable food production, and they will be natural leaders as we enact nature-based solutions to meet the region’s growing food challenges.”
SPC through the project, is a key partner for this first regional project of the Kiwa Initiative.
Establishment of the Pacific Organic Learning Farms Network team
Through the project, POETCom engaged seven roles. Three roles (Project Manager, Agroecological Officer and Finance Officer) were recruited full time and four roles (POETCom Coordinator, Organic Extension Systems Officer, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer and a Communications Officer) were recruited part time. This dynamic came into effect in December 2022 and will continue with the implementation of the project activities.
Ongoing learning exchanges are crucial for the project to learn and adapt relevant approaches from previous/existing sustainable, organic and agroecological farming programmes and projects. The Pacific organic farms learning network (POFLN) project held its first learning exchange with PROTÉGÉ project team, who have successfully established agroecological farms as well as an organic and agroecological farmer network in the French territories – Wallis and Futuna, New Caledonia and French Polynesia. Additionally, the POFLN team in Feb 2022 visited the island of Taveuni, Fiji to gauge and learn experiences from Teitei Taveuni – an active network of farmers continuously researching and adopting sustainable farming practices on 10 demonstration farms to improve and enhance soil health and productivity. These learning exchanges encourages farmer to farmer learning and knowledge sharing.